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We refer to the above as well as the speech by President Ramaphosa on Thursday 23 April 2020, during which a phased approach to ending the present lockdown has been announced.
2. As stated previously, the present state of disaster has been declared in terms of Section 27 of the Disaster Management Act, 57 of 2002. This section gives government wide powers during such a disaster. It also provides, however, that a declared state of disaster lapses after three months (i.e. on 15 June 2020), unless terminated beforehand. Government is, however, entitled to extend the state of disaster for one month at a time. Each such extension is to be properly gazetted.
3. There are some documents being circulated via social media, seeming to be official government documents, containing proposals for phased economic recovery. As these documents have not formally been acknowledged by government as being correct, we will not make reference to them in this letter. We have up to now, and will continue in future, only considered officially published government regulations and guidelines.
4. There is still a lot of uncertainty about the detail of the phased ending of lockdown, and the President specifically requested industry bodies to engage with Government in order to make submissions. Industry bodies such as SAPOA, the SACSC, and the Legal Practice Council will no doubt take part in these discussions. Industry-specific detail will therefore probably only be provided during the course of next week. We will keep a keen eye on these announcements.
5. What is clear, at this stage, is the following:
5.1. Various alert levels have been identified, being:
5.1.1. Alert level 5: the highest level, where drastic measures are required. The current lockdown is classified as level 5;
5.1.2. Alert level 4: Some activity is allowed to resume, but extreme precautions are still required. As an example, cigarette sales will be allowed;
5.1.3. Alert level 3: A high risk of transmission still exists, and therefore many activities, including social and workplace activities will remain restricted;
5.1.4. Alert level 2: Physical distancing will be the main method used to combat the risk of transmission, and leisure and social activities will remain restricted to some degree;
5.1.5. Alert level 1: Most normal activity can resume, but precautions and guidelines are to be followed.
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